TCDD (Turkish Republic State Railways) operate passenger trains all over the country.
On long distances, like Istanbul to Ankara or Pamukkale, the train is a comfortable way of transport.
The InterRail Global Pass and the InterRail Turkey Pass are valid on all trains operated by TCDD (Turkish Republic State Railways).
On the website of the Turkish State Railways you can find useful information about:
The Istanbul – Ankara rail line is the most popular connection. There are several daily trains on this line.
Other major cities or tourist spots that can be reached by rail from Istanbul directly are Edirne, Eskisehir, Denizli (near Pamukkale), Konya, Adana, Kayseri, Gaziantep, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Kars, and Tatvan on the shore of Lake Van.
How to get there
From Istanbul there are international connections to Iran (Trans-Asya Ekspresi). Due to the building of a new high-speed line there are engineering works on the train line between Istanbul and the Bulgarian border. A replacement bus operated by the TCDD connect Kapikule at the Bulgarian border with Istanbul. Read more about the engineering works.
- Süper Ekspresler (intercity trains)
- Mavi Trenler and Ekspresler (interregional trains)
- Bölgesel Ekspresler (interregional express trains), Ray Otobüsü ve Mototrenler and Normal Yolcu Trenleri (regional trains)
- Banliyö Treni (commuter trains)
Reservations are not compulsory on national trains in Turkey. For long-distance trains reservations are possible. You can make free reservations locally at Turkish train stations up to 15 days in advance.
Bikes are allowed, but check locally if a special ticket is required.
Engineering works in Turkey
Due to the building of a new high-speed line there are engineering works on the train line between Istanbul and the Bulgarian border.
There is a replacement bus connecting Kapikule at the Bulgarian border with Istanbul, Turkey, operated by the Turkish railway TCDD. InterRail passes are valid for this journey. The bus makes no stops between Istanbul and Kapikule. This situation should last for at least 1 year.
Please find more details here.